26 December 2011

A Suitable Hat

Whew! Now that Christmas is over, I finally have some time to relax and blog a bit. I spent the last two weeks working two different temp jobs, learning new things about my physical and mental limits, and even doing a little knitting.

Week One, I worked in a tile factory, sorting tiles and packing them in boxes. I loved the obsessive-compulsive side of it, but discovered that inhaling resin dust while trying to recover from a cold is a Bad Idea, and that what my doctor had thought was just Seasonal Affective features turns out to be the full-blown disorder, capable of landing me in the hospital if left unchecked. I managed to avoid the psych ward, but only just, which is why that job only lasted a week. It's okay, one of my coworkers decided that my car was "too blue," so I've saved her the trauma of having to see it every day.

Week Two, I was a driver's helper for UPS, running packages from the truck to houses all over Ludlow, which is a much bigger town than I thought. I had the best driver (friendly, funny, efficient, safe, and hard-working), met a lot of nice folks, and drooled over every styrofoam cooler with an Omaha Steaks invoice on the lid. Before I showed up for my first day, though, I needed to do some knitting.

The UPS dress code specifies that long hair must be pinned up so it doesn't touch the collar of the jacket, and that any hat must be a dark, netural color. I have turquoise hats, purple hats, baby-blue hats, but nothing in a dark, neutral color that's big enough to fit over a bun.

Thank goodness I'm a knitter, right?

So, naturally, I grabbed some dark brown yarn (Green Mountain Spinnery's Alpaca Elegance in Dark Roast) and cast on for a slightly-bigger-than-normal beanie. I picked Andrea Goutier's Hurricane Hat because it had visual interest without being complicated, I did some quick math to account for the fact that I was using DK instead of worsted, and I got the darned thing finished with about two hours to spare.


There it is on me (pardon the blur), and, so you can see the swirl, on my favorite stuffed animal (his name is Roger and he's an alligator):


We had a couple of nice days during the week, but a couple of icky ones, too (so the hat came in very handy), and I was reminded that I like snow much better than rain. Here are some shots from my last day on the job:

upsrun1 upsrun2

I only fell once, and it wasn't because of ice, it was just that I was exhausted on my last day and those concrete steps were a smidge taller than I thought they were.

Anywho, I survived, and I might even sign up to do it all again next year... but only if I can ride with the same driver. And next year, I'll already have the perfect hat!

24 December 2011


I keep thinking, "I should take pictures and post something!" Then I get home from work, fall over, and don't get up again until the alarm goes off the next morning. I've had two different temp jobs the last two weeks, and while they've both been fun, they've also been exhausting. That by itself would be plenty to keep me from posting, but I've also been sick since I got back from Toronto, and the struggle to breathe and swallow without pain or obstruction has kept me occupied. Now, to top things off, I have a tweaked shoulder and swollen hand (one from repetitive stress, the other from an overly friendly dog), so even knitting is proving difficult.

But now that I've had a full night's sleep and have the prospect of a full week when nobody's hiring, I can recover from the illness, ice the hand and shoulder, go grocery shopping, and get some work done around the house. I hope y'all are having lovely holidays, reconnecting with loved ones, and enjoying yourselves.

12 December 2011

New Job!

I had forgotten how simultaneously good and bad the first day of a new job feels after a stretch of unemployment. On the "bad" end of the spectrum are getting up at 4:30am and having muscles I didn't know existed ache in an evil, throbbing sort of way. On the "good" end are things like finally having a paycheck again, the satisfaction of a solid day's work, and the knowledge that those heretofore unknown muscles will soon be firm and sculpted.

I'm also very glad that my showerhead has a massage setting. I can't knit when I ache like this.

08 December 2011

Bleep Bleep Bloop

In addition to the World Cup t-shirt and the Team England t-shirt (because their logo is awesome) I brought home from Toronto, I also ended up with a cold. It's in the simultaneously-stuffy-and-runny-plus-croaking-throat phase, and it's making productivity difficult, what with the throbbing skull and constant sniffles.

Despite that, I picked up a wee little crochet project that I told myself I'd have finished by March... last March, that is. Better late than never, right? I did actually work up a proof of concept way back then, but never got around to doing the rest of the project.


The new ones will be slightly bigger to allow a rare earth magnet to fit in the base so the fella can stick them to the shelf in his cube.

Why yes, I am a dork! Thanks for noticing!

05 December 2011

South of the Border

The drive home was long and exhausting, but it's finally over. The recaps are up (if I haven't mentioned, the derby blog is here), the furnace is back on, and the cats are thrilled that we're back. Fit To Be Tied #2 is almost finished, several people at the World Cup commented on it, and I'm looking forward to wearing it at all of the cold-weather derby bouts we plan to catch next year.

For now, though, sleep. Well, food and sleep. Haven't eaten since that rest area on the Thruway five hours ago. Eep!

03 December 2011


So when does a hardcore knitter find herself in the Yarn Harlot's city and not make arrangements to meet up with said celebrity? When that hardcore knitter is an even harder-core roller derby fan, that's when.

We're here in scenic Toronto (well, parts of it are scenic... I suppose... if you squint... but then I never was much of a city person) for the Roller Derby World Cup, having a fantastic time, and spending something like fifteen hours a day getting to, watching, and getting back from some of the best roller derby bouts the world has ever seen. I'm knitting between bouts (my second Fit To Be Tied triangular scarf with the leftover yarn from my Can Can mitts... too exhausted to link, and y'all know how to use the little search box at the top of the page), interacting with other crafters (we were joined by our local derby girls today, one of whom is trying to muster the courage to teach herself knitting this winter), and generally enjoying myself despite being in a crowded venue with no natural light and no volume knob.

If you're wondering what I've been working on lately and haven't checked out my Flickr yet, go poke around (link's in the sidebar). There are some made-up-as-I-went-along mitts that are both handspun and hand dyed, there's my first Fit To Be Tied (in yummy alpaca left over from the Celtic Headband), and there's the Harlot's One Row Scarf in some Spunky Eclectic-dyed handspun, too.

You go see the pretties, I'm gonna have some noms and call it a night. Tomorrow: the finals!!!